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13th Mar 2024

Star Wars actor Michael Culver has died

Joseph Loftus


Star Wars actor, Michael Culver, has died.

Culver, who was best known for one of the films’ most memorable scenes, was 85.

Best known for playing Captain Lorth Needa in the 1980 flick, The Empire Strikes Back, Culver died following a long illness.

Speaking today [March 13], his agents said: “We are very sad to confirm the passing of our friend and client Michael Culver.

“A career spanning over 50 years with notable roles in Sherlock Holmes, A Passage to India, Secret Army and of course one of the most memorable death scenes in the Star Wars franchise.

“Michael largely gave up acting in the early 2000’s to concentrate his efforts into his political activism.

“It’s been an honor to have represented Michael for the last decade and to have taken him to some of the best Star Wars events in the UK and Europe.

“Michael died on Tuesday 27th February at the age of 85. We miss him.”

Fans were quick to pay tribute to Culver online with the Star Wars Underworld writing: “We are saddened to report that actor Michael Culver has passed away at the age of 85.

“Culver was best know to Star Wars fans for portraying Captain Lorth Needa in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

“He also had a variety of roles across many stage, screen and radio productions.”

The Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes Podcast also paid tribute to Culver, saying: “Michael had been ill for some time, but this did not stop this strong, principled man from continuing to live and work and speak out for the causes he had so strongly fought for throughout his life.

“Michael was not just an extraordinary actor, but was an extraordinary man.”

Culver was born in Hampstead, London, back in 1938. His acting career began at the Old Vic, Dundee Rep, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He appeared in countless television shows in recurring roles such as in Secret Army where he played Major Erwin Brandt and as Prior Robert in Cadfael.

He also starred in The Sweeney, Miss Marple, The Professionals, and in the Granada TV series, The Return Of Sherlock Holmes.

In film, Culver had two uncredited roles in James Bond films before starring in The Empire Strikes Back and then getting a major part in A Passage to India as a police inspector.

He will no doubt be deeply missed.